10th June 2014

There’s so much to admire about this building, where do you start? For me, there are two key images here: the bottom photo, showing Villa CP within its wider context with the views out over the surrounding landscape and the pool, and the image below, which highlights the combination of old and new that defined ZEST Architecture’s vision for this project as the Corten steel frames of the windows and the entrance offer a crisp contrast against the old stone walls. Stunning, right?


Villa CP is located in Spain’s Gavarres mountains and is described by the Barcelona-based practice as a ‘21st century house… created inside an old stone structure’. The owners were granted permission to renovate an existing ruined farmhouse on a site surrounded by forest, and with views out to the Mediterranean Sea.


Planning regulations dictated that the new building should have the same appearance and dimensions as the original, but the architects opened up the house to draw in the light and those long views, and connected the building to the garden – on several levels – with a new series of external staircases.


The bedrooms are on the ground level with the living spaces above, again taking in the vistas. I love the way that the building’s rustic character has been retained and reinvigorated by the new palette of materials, including timber and clay, and with natural plaster covering the walls.


This project also embraced a sustainable ethos at its core, as demonstrated by the pool where the water is filtered by the plants and gravel, and by the building’s insulation that combines cork (sourced from the property’s estate) with clay and straw panels set behind the stone walls.


One of my favourite details here is seen in the top photo where the Corten steel panel is perforated in an irregular pattern allowing dappled sunlight to stream through. Just beautiful.

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Photography by Jesús Granada. Sourced via ArchDaily and Dezeen.

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